Photo Credit: Steven Ryan – Getty Images
Fan-favorite heavyweight contender, Derrick ‘The Black Beast’ Lewis made it two wins in two on Saturday at UFC 247, in a rather closely contested main card opener against division climber, Ilir Latifi – but it’s not all plain sailing for the 35-year-old Texas resident.
The charismatic knockout artist narrowly scraped a unanimous decision against the Swede – in a matchup which he predicted he would win via “controversial” circumstances. Despite finding himself on the receiving end of a handful of successful takedown attempts from the stout Latifi, Lewis was awarded a 29-28 victory on all three judge’s scorecards – extending his win streak to two fights in the process.
The Louisiana born heavy-hitter appeared on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on Monday evening and when questioned if he would be available to slot into the main event of UFC Fight Night Columbus on March 28th., should former opponent Francis Ngannou or Jairzinho Rozenstriuk fail to make the walk – Lewis confirmed his availability, but also revealed a rather alarming health issue which had been discovered during his fight camp in preparation for UFC 247.
“Yeah, I’ll be available – but also, my coach wants me to get something checked out that came up in my medicals and stuff like that, that’s been hindering my training,” Lewis said. “We’re really supposed to be keeping it on the down-low but I gotta get it checked out. The UFC doctors know what it is and the doctors here in Houston already know what it is. So, it’s just something that’s been going on that I still gotta get addressed.”
When further questioned by Helwani if the health issue was serious, Lewis explained how the issue he has yet to reveal, was “life or death“.
“Oh yeah, it’s like life or death situation, serious. I’m dead serious,” Lewis explained when Helwani asked if he was, in fact, playing a joke. “I’m dead serious. It’s something that happens to a lot of athletes. It don’t (sic) matter if you’re healthy or not. It’s something that still can happen to you at the drop of a hat, that’s all I can say. I’m not worried.”
Lewis challenged Daniel Cormier for the UFC heavyweight championship at UFC 230 at the tail end of 2018 – losing via a second-round rear-naked choke. During his ten year professional career, ‘The Black Beast’ has managed eighteen knockout victories, over the likes of Alexander Volkov, Travis Browne, Marcin Tybura, Shamil Abdurakhimov, and Gabriel Gonzaga.